ONE STREAK CONTINUES — and it's an unfavorable one -- while another has just begun, at least Meade girls basketball coach Molly Wilson hopes so.
Her 3-14 Mustangs had lost three straight since winning its last game, 37-33, over North County.
But last night, the Mustangs nipped visiting Friendship Division rival Glen Burnie (also 3-14), 40-39, in an overtime contest that wastied nine times.
"You know, we can play some teams very well. In fact, we've beaten some teams that we shouldn't have," said Wilson, whose Mustangs were 0-7 before winning their only other game, 38-36, over Severna Park.
For the Patty Dages-coached Gophers, the losing skein has reached 11 games, despite fine efforts from high-scoring guard Kelly Rodgers, who had nine points when she suffered a third quarter ankle injury with her team trailing, 24-23.
The injury forced Rodgers to the bench but the Gophers' Melissa Schaffer and Tonia Walker (each with six points) held their own during the rest of the game.
The score was tied three more times in the fourth period, the last time at 34 to send the game into overtime.
In the fourth period,Glen Burnie's Jessica Pearce (seven points) kept the visitors afloatwith her 5-for-8 free throw shooting.
But Walker fouled out with one-minute and 47 seconds left before overtime, as did Pearce with the same amount of time remaining in the extra session.
The Mustangs' Tenkia Matthews (eight points) sank a free throw to put Meade up, 34-33, with 2:49 left in regulation, but Pearce sank one of her own tosend the game into overtime.
The game was tied once more at 36, before a pair of free throws with 16 seconds left in overtime by Meade's Adrian Toles (nine points, eight boards) gave the Mustangs a 40-37cushion and negated a bucket by the Gophers' Ryann Levo.
"There was a lot of pride on the line," said Toles. "Winning this was a big confidence booster for us."
Another player gaining confidence was Meade senior Kelley Dryden, who scored a game-high 10 points -- as much as she has tallied in the previous four games combined.
"This isthe kind of game we needed to pull our team together," said Dryden. "We have a bad reputation in our school because of our record, and this really helps."
With identical 0-4 division records entering thecontest, neither squad had hopes of reviving its playoff chances. Yet the game was played as if a title were on the line. But the title of division cellar dweller, and neither team wanted it.
Before the skid began, Glen Burnie was off to a 3-3 start, including victories over Great Mills, 47-17, Queen Anne's, 38-29, and South River, 45-35.
"We hate being in a losing streak, and we really wanted to come out of it tonight," said Glen Burnie's Walker.
"We tried, but we just couldn't pull it out."
Meade led, 13-11, after the first quarter, getting five points from Toles, four from Dryden and two each from Sherrie Marshall and Tara Brereton, while Glen Burnie received four points each from Rodgers and Walker, and three from Schaffer.
Dryden and teammate Connie Fink opened the second quarter with consecutivejumpers as the Mustangs went up by 17-11, but then hit a dry spell.
Glen Burnie didn't score again until Rodgers' three-pointer cut itto, 17-14, with 4:20 left in the half.
Matthews scored for the Mustangs, as did Pearce for the Gophers with 1:07 left, and the score remained, 19-16 at intermission.
The game was knotted at 24, 26 and28 in the third quarter, with the Gophers' Amy George giving Glen Burnie its first lead, 28-26, before Brereton's buzzer-beating lay-up made it a draw heading into the final period.
With Rodgers sidelined permanently after twisting her left ankle, Glen Burnie used scoringfrom six different players in the period to stay in the game.
"Tonight, there were times where we should have just broke the game openand we didn't," said Wilson.
"Not having our best player, VonnitaPinkett, didn't help. She's was averaging 15 points and 10 rebounds before she hurt her knee last Tuesday against Annapolis."
Before meeting the Mustangs again in the Feb. 28 season finale, the Gophers face Old Mill, Severna Park, Annapolis and Chesapeake.
Meade plays Severna Park, Chesapeake and Old Mill before ending with Glen Burnie.
"Next time we play them," said Dryden, "we'll just have to come out twice as hard."